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Jan 10

Good News for Vallejo Schools!

Governor’s Budget Would Give Schools $10B in Additional Funding

Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday unveiled his $106.8 billion general fund budget proposal for the 2014-2015 year, saying it is “very good news.” [Read the governor’s news release   and full budget summary.]

The governor told reporters that the budget would provide an additional “$10 billion for the schools of California after years of drought, cuts, and pink slips for teachers.”

CTA President Dean E. Vogel praised the governor for the new spending plan, saying: “The governor’s proposed budget will help our public schools and colleges continue to heal after years of devastating cuts.”

The governor said his administration is convening meetings of stakeholders to address the issue of maintaining the financial stability of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System. Read more about CalSTRS’s unfunded liability.

The release of the budget proposal is the first step in a long process that ends in the adoption and signing of a state spending plan before the July 1 start of the 2014-15 budget year.

California Falls to 50th in School Funding in Education Week Survey

The newest  Education Week survey of education funding finds that California has hit 50th among the states in per-pupil funding, a key measure of financial commitment to public schools. According to the report, California fell from 49th to 50th in per-student funding in the 2010-11 school year. According to the report, California spends $3,500 less per student than the national average and $11,000 less per child than the top-ranked state of Wyoming.

CTA Supports Proposed Regulations for Local Control Funding Formula: Educators to Testify Next Week

CTA members will be testifying on Thurs., Jan. 16, in Sacramento before the State Board of Education about the proposed regulations for implementing the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). The LCFF is boosting appropriations for all schools, with additional allocations to schools with large segments of English learners, children from low-income families, and foster children.

CTA has worked hard to encourage the SBE to adopt regulations that will provide schools, parents, and educators with the flexibility needed to implement the program effectively. These quick points explain how the proposed regulations improve education, help students who need it most, involve parents and the community, strike the right balance between accountability and flexibility, and support continuous transparency.

Read CTA’s letter urging the SBE’s support.

Contact the members of the State Board of Education and urge them to adopt the draft regulations that CTA is supporting.  You can reach all of them by calling the State Board of Education at (916) 319-0827.
 
The members of the Board are:
  • Dr. Michael Kirst, State Board President
  • Dr. Ilene Straus, State Board Vice President
  • Ms. Sue Burr
  • Dr. Carl A. Cohn
  • Mr. Bruce Holaday
  • Dr. Aida Molina
  • Ms. Patricia Ann Rucker
  • Dr. Nicolasa Sandoval
  • Ms. Trish Boyd Williams
  • Jesse Zhang, Student Member 
Learn more about them on the State Board of Education webpage.
Help Defeat These Bad Bills
Education Committees to Hear CTA-opposed Bills
The Assembly Committee on Education on Wed., Jan. 15, is expected to hear CTA-opposed AB 815 by Assembly Member Connie Conway (R-Tulare) that would expand the universe of schools that could implement the parent trigger law. Current implementation of the deeply-flawed law has lacked transparency and led to many parents feeling lied to and deceived. There is growing evidence that parents are not actually the ones behind these parent trigger initiatives, but rather wealthy corporate special interests that want to push their agenda to privatize all schools in California.

Meanwhile, the Senate Education Committee is expected to vote on CTA-opposed SB 559 by Senator Bob Huff, Chair of the Republican Caucus. It would move the preliminary certificated layoff notification date from the current date of March 15 to May 15, and the final layoff notice deadline from May 15 to June 15. The changes create more uncertainty for students and would make it much harder for a laid-off teacher to apply for work in other districts in a timely manner.

Contact Your Lawmaker in Support of This One!
Assembly Member Pushes Bill to Protect Student Safety

The Assembly Committee on Education will also vote on AB 135, a CTA-supported bill by Assembly Education Chair Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo), which would require all school districts to have a board policy about their child abuse and reporting responsibilities and to review it annually with their employees. It aims to help strengthen student safety. CTA believes local school districts and state agencies must take all necessary steps to prevent any type of child abuse and neglect.

Click through to CTA’s Legislative Action Page to get in touch with your lawmakers!